!...comment created 15.9.04 & jul 12 refCRoe...>
This oak sofa is another classic Voysey design.
The sofa was actually called a Chesterfield by Voysey, and originally was not intended to have a seat cushion. Originally the seat had matching dovetailed slats, as the back. It was originally designed for S.C. Turner, for The Homestead, Frinton-On-Sea ( One of Voysey's best 'Total' designs ) and sat in the billiards room. One of these chesterfield's was also used in E.J. Horniman's Chelsea drawing room (Garden Corner), with the addition of seat cushions, as shown in the original photo below.
The sofa has a very American Mission Arts & Crafts look about, due to the generally square shape of the design. Much of Voysey's furniture design work had a great influence on American designers.
The sofa is full of Voysey's design vocabulary. The back legs being the same shape as his chair legs, the front legs square like the chairs. The bottom of the legs are rounded over, as often done on his furniture.
The wide side rests, so practical, provide ample space to store drinks and reading material, and save the need for side tables. The thumbnose moulded edge the same as he used on many of his tables.
All the time Voysey built up this design vocabulary, that repeated itself across so many different materials, that offered such a high degree of understated unity to his schemes.
The LH photo shows a detail of the sofa. This is quality engineering in wood.
The slats are all dovetailed into into the cross rails, as with the chair back splats. The slats could have looked very mundane had they been tenoned in, as usually happens with this type of seat. However, the dovetails give a lovely design touch and 'interest' to the back. The use of the dovetails were not merely decorative, Voysey was yet again following Pugin's tenet of 'revealed construction'.
The sofa is made from Oak. Usually it would be left natural as Voysey preferred, but in this instance an oiled finish was applied, for a mellower apearance and more day to day protection. The sofa is shown with the large seat cushion, prior to it's final cover being put on. Voysey's original sofa is shown below. The sofa is made to order. Price on application.